Adding live drums to a DJ/producer set isn’t enough anymore to set a band apart. Starting there and then adding saxophone is certainly a different way to approach the beep-boop, finger-pushing, but is it really enough to take the performance from ok unforgettable? It turns out the only answer to that question is “it depends.” It depends on whether or not you’re talking about Big Gigantic.
As soon as Dominic Lalli gets on stage and starts slinging his sax next to Jeremy Salken on the kit, you know something is going to be different. Lalli operates his horn like a Wild West gunslinger dueling with individual’s sleep deprivation and drunkenness for fist pumping, bouncing and raised arms. While his precision with the instrument is close to surgical, he leaves enough room for sonic flairs and flourishes that, when coupled with the rhythm and crack of live drums, take the word remix to whole new levels.
The hypnosis of a perfectly thumped bass beat and staccato snare maneuvers layered over audio clips with lyrics that don’t just ask the audience to “throw ya motherfuckin hands up,” they command it. And if you think Kanye is inimitable, try listening to it punctuated by the saxophone from Gerry Rafferty’s stoner love song “Baker Street.” None of the songs that Big Gigantic remixed have ever sounded as good as they did echoing through the crowd that day.